The Best Workout for Your Heart

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SingleDad.com is dedicated to Dad’s Health, Diet and Exercise programs that will help keep you in the best shape of your life. Fitness for Dads reviews the latest Fitness programs for the Dad who wants to stay at optimum health. This month learn the best workout for your heart. Read more.

Fitness for
Dads:

The Best
Workout for Your Heart

Faster footsteps equal a healthier heart.

Working out harder instead of longer could be
the secret to warding off metabolic syndrome (MS), a combination of risk
factors-which include obesity and high blood pressure that increase your risk
for cardiovascular disease, according to new research in the BMJ Open.

Ten years after gathering people’s baseline
fitness habits-including workout length and intensity-researchers found that
those who reported jogging or brisk walking 2 to 4 hours a week cut their risk
of developing MS by 35 to 50 percent. (About 19 percent of inactive people
developed MS, compared to just 12 percent of very active people.)

run

Time vs.
Intensity?

The cardiovascular impact of high-intensity
exercise versus light exercise has been a longstanding debate, says
cardiologist Eric Topol, M.D., director of the Scripps Translational
Science Institute and a Men’s Health expert advisor. While
the jury remains out, the new study lends credence to the high-intensity camp.

"Higher-intensity exercise does have a whole
different impact on the body’s physiology," says Dr. Topol. Everything is more
pronounced: your heart rate is higher, your blood vessels are more dilated, and
you’re revving up your cardiovascular system as you would a car, Dr. Topol
adds.

walk

Power Walk
or Trail Run?

The results of this study fall in line with
past studies on the topic: There’s some kind of a threshold that you need to
surpass in order to see changes. And it’s possible that intense exercise
triggers those changes in lipid and glucose metabolism and blood pressure,
lowering the risk factors that trigger MS, says David Maron, M.D., a
cardiologist at Vanderbilt University’s medical center.

But don’t give up your leisurely evening
walks just yet. A recent study in Circulation found that just 2.5
hours of light exercise a week can reduce inflammation in your body thought to
be a major contributing factor for developing heart disease. The key: Make sure
your heart rate hovers around 120 beats per minute (think: not quite heavy
breathing, but breathing more heavily than normal), and that you put in the
recommended 2.5 hours for the week.

So what’s the happy medium? Be your own
judge. While the BMJ Open study found that light physical activity didn’t
decrease the participants’ MS risk-even if they walked for 2 hours a week-brisk
walking was categorized as high intensity. If going hard for you means
brisk walking, do that until it becomes easy, then take it up
a notch. "Rigorous aerobic activity is really the best," Topol says. So, if
you enjoy your nightly stroll, just make sure you’re sweating it out in the
morning, too.

Richard JaramilloRichard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com,
a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children.
RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents
“Make Life Happen…Again!”

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Richard “RJ” Jaramillo, is the Founder of SingleDad.com, a website and social media resource dedicated to single parenting and specifically for the newly divorced, re-married, widowed and single Father with children. RJ is self employed, entrepreneur living in San Diego and a father of three children. The mission of SingleDad is to help the community of Single Parents “Make Life Happen…Again!”